Hi, my name is–[What?]
My name is–[Who?]
That’s right, y’all. I was a bit of a two-timing blogger pen pal this month. It’s just that I simply can’t resist a good foodie swap! So, even though I had already signed up for my usual Lean Green Bean-arranged Foodie Pen Pals shipment, once I heard about Christina’s Valentine’s Day Gift Swap at Hungry Meets Healthy, I had to participate in that, too. And I’m certainly glad I did. I was matched up with Bridget, who is an English-teaching blog reader from the Midwest. I hate to say that I failed her…but she really outdid herself on my “day of love” present!I’ve actually stashed most of the snacks away (but she clearly understands the teacher dining style of “What can I eat quickly before the kids come back?”), but that tea had to be tried immediately. I love it so much that despite all of the wine present at Book Club on Sunday evening……I chose to drink some of it instead! [And I swear, it's not because I might have had a lot of wine over the weekend and just couldn't stomach any more. I swear.]As for those Pita Bites…not only did they take me back to my days working as a Foodie at Central Market in Austin [where we used them to sample out, well, everything: mustard, pumpkin butter, you name it!], they provided the perfect pairing–at that same Book Club meeting–for the remaining homemade pimiento cheese from my temporary anti-vegan collapse over the weekend.All I did was ship off some Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, two types of homemade quinoa cookies, assorted teas, and granola. Really, Bridget, you were…TWO Kind. (Get it? Get it? Heeheehee…)For what I consider the ”real” (or should we just say “original and most continuous of which I have been a part?”) Foodie Pen Pal Exchange, organized each month by the genius (and my future Blend Retreat roomie!) that is Lindsay Livingston, I mailed off some yummy treats to Karen, and in return I received a package from Tory that was less snackable than my Valentine’s Day gift……but no less fantastically fun! [Thank you SO much, Tory!]Considering I’ve developed a nightly tea
addiction habit, the decaf tea was a perfect gift. As for the cranberry mustard…well, when you discover that I have–on more than one occasion–eaten lettuce covered in mustard and ketchup and called it a salad…that, too, was quite timely. The black sea salt found its way on some homemade (black) salt-and-vinegar potato ‘chips’ I made once over the weekend for Mr. Mason Jar…and again last night for myself. I also found it added some nice polka-dot-esque adornment to one of the Texas Rio Grapefruits I received from TexaSweet and roasted with cumin, pepper, and (black) sea salt.Perhaps my strangest creation (and inspiration) came from the Tropical Pepper Co. Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce.The sweet essence of mango puree–with only the slightest hint of coconut–that rounds out with a one-two-lightning punch of pepper at the end…well, let’s just say I ate could eat this with a spoon. I also discovered it tasted great with strawberries. ['Tis best not to ask questions, I imagine.]This resulted in one of my stranger lunches to date: roasted carnival squash, brown rice, and cooked strawberries.Think what you want about it–even if it’s just, “Wow, isn’t it cool how the squash and the strawberries look like hearts?”–but it was GOOD y’all.And I’m now fixated on coming up with some sort of tropical, savory strawberry sauce. [Especially as strawberries are on sale this week...]Do you, too, want to have the opportunity to receive assorted foodie presents from around the country? Do you, too, want to have the opportunity to dip your cucumbers into Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce?
Be a March Foodie Pen Pal!
She will need to hear from you by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th! [And thank her for organizing this while you're at it. ]